Martin Luther King Jr. Day

The Moral Arc of the Universe

Today, we remember Martin Luther King, Jr. and the way that he was able to inspire a nation to uphold the value of equality as the constitution of our country promises. We remember his life and the way he was able to weave together the message of the Gospel with the need for justice in his day and among the people in his city, and in fact in cities all over our nation. We remember that he held church leaders and Christians accountable to the cause of justice and righteousness, and that he promoted non-violent resolution even if that meant that there had to be struggle and protest. 

Today is a good day to remember these things and so much more. 

In reflecting on the life of MLK Jr. today, I was reminded of the passion that he spoke and taught with, and the way that he did so in such a grounded manner. He spoke truth to power, and he also challenged those working alongside him to protest and to seek justice in non-violent ways–and they did! He said difficult words to those who needed to hear them, and he did so without fear because he knew what was right. 

And as I thought about the civil rights movement that was begun (or continued) in his lifetime, and that still continues today, I am challenged to believe that he is right in more ways than just this one. That when he says, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” or, “the moral arc of the universe bends toward justice,” he is still speaking to us. Not just about race inequality (although certainly about that still), but about any and all injustice. That what God began in Creation and continued in the life of Jesus was nothing less than the loving embrace of the Creator who is seeking to bring justice to a world that doesn’t have it. The core of the Gospel and the core of what Dr. King preached are the same. That God is bringing justice to those who are most in need of it. 

So, today, may we join with Dr. King in seeking justice. May we join the revolutionaries like Amos who preached that “justice should roll on like a river” and Jesus who taught us to “love our enemies” and to “pray for those who persecute us.” May we be like the God who created this world who is working to bring justice and mercy to those who are in need. 

May we not only believe, but work toward the future where we catch up to the moral arc of the universe, and justice is achieved. 

Today, I thank Dr. King for challenging me to live out the Gospel in any and every way possible. 

(Also, I would encourage everyone to take time this week to read or watch Dr. King’s speeches or letters. Here are two great ones…)

Letter from a Birmingham Jail

I Have a Dream Speech